A Unique event - The Stoddart Dinner

I am in the position to give some details about a unique occasion to be hosted by The Sherlock Holmes Society of London this August.

Those well versed in the origins of Sherlock Holmes will know that the Langham Hotel has featured several times in Holmes' adventures. It was where the King of Bohemia stayed in the events of A Scandal in Bohemia and where the honourable Philip Green stayed in The Adventure of Lady Frances Carfax.

The Langham in the 19th Century

However its first appearance was as where Captain Morstan stayed in The Sign of Four. It was no coincidence that Arthur Conan Doyle received his commission to write this very story at the same hotel on the 30th August 1889 from magazine editor J.M. Stoddart (after whom the dinner is named).

The Langham today

The 30th August 2014 marks the 125th anniversary of this famous dinner. Without it Sherlock Holmes may never have had a second adventure let alone 60 official cases and the many added by other writers over the years.

The Grand Ballroom

It was also at the dinner that Conan Doyle met Oscar Wilde for the first time and the latter was commissioned to pen what later became The Picture of Dorian Gray.

The SHSL will shortly send out a mailing to all members inviting them to apply for tickets (cost will be detailed in the mailing). This is a one-off event that the society has no intention of repeating. Victorian costume is encouraged but not mandatory.

Each society member may apply to bring a number of guests but be aware that a ballot will be held after the end of July in the event that the dinner is oversubscribed.

SHSL link here.

Written by Alistair Duncan
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